In June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo negotiated and proposed a bill that claimed to “protect New York’s standing as a national leader in teacher evaluation.”
Six months later, Cuomo vetoed the very same bill, saying it doesn’t “fix the foundational issues with the teacher evaluation system.”
Cuomo late Monday rejected his own legislation, which would have temporarily removed Common Core-based student test scores from the evaluation scores of teachers who rated poorly. The veto came after the state Education Department released the latest round of evaluation scores, which showed 95 percent of New York public teachers were rated “effective” or “highly effective” last school year.
The latest evaluation results “are not an accurate assessment–only 0.7% of teachers were rated ‘Ineffective’ under the (Annual Professional Performance Review), and so the legislation is unnecessary,” Cuomo wrote in his veto message.
It’s unclear whether school districts were operating under the assumption that Cuomo would sign the bill this year as it evaluated its teachers. The legislation was to take effect immediately after it was signed and apply to teacher employment decisions beginning last July, before the latest round of evaluation scores was released publicly.
Cuomo stepped in to help negotiate the bill with Senate and Assembly leaders earlier this year after the state took action in March to temporarily stop districts from making student-placement decisions solely based on Common Core-based test scores. The New York State United Teachers union backed the bill, saying it helped ensure teachers were being “treated fairly” as the Education Department faced criticism for its implementation of the tougher education standards.
In August, the teachers union declined to endorse anyone in this year’s gubernatorial race, which Cuomo won in November.
In his veto message, Cuomo promised to propose “comprehensive reforms” to the teacher evaluation system next year.
“These temporary provisions do not fix the foundational issues with the teacher evaluation system,” Cuomo wrote. “Given what we know now, it would make no sense to sign this bill and further inflate these already inflated ratings.”
Here’s Cuomo’s veto message:
(AP file photo)